Vision Improvement Therapy 101: By the numbers

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You’ve probably heard about Orthokeratology or Vision Improvement Therapy.

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Orthokeratology or Vision Improvement Therapy is a non-surgical myopia treatment option which involves the use of tailor-fit, overnight, gas permeable lenses. It is also sometimes called cornea reshaping or overnight vision correction, and as the name implies, it works by gently reshaping the cornea as the wearer sleeps. This way, the focus of light on the retina is also corrected. When the wearer wakes up, there is immediate difference in the clarity of vision, and there will be no need for prescription glasses or regular lenses for the day.

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Here’s a quick overview of Vision Improvement Therapy by the numbers.

  • 30 million: Number of myopic people estimated by the National Eye Institute by year 2030.
  • 2050: The year in which it is said that 10 percent of the world’s population will be at risk of blindness if the myopia epidemic is not stopped, according to a global study by Brien Holden Vision Institute as reported on Science Daily
  • -6.00D to 1.75D: According to the European Academy of Orthokeratology, Vision Improvement Therapy is most ideal for people who have up to “about -6.00D of myopia with no more than -1.75D of astigmatism.”
  • 8 to 12 years old: Among children with myopia, this is the best age for them to get VIT lenses. Over all, “best success” with VIT is expected for people less than 40 years of age.
  • 7 days: This period is when the “large part” of the Vision Improvement Therapy effect happens. Maximum results are normally achieved in 1 month. In more difficult cases, it may take up to 3 months.
  • 20/40: Or better, without glasses or contacts. This is the typical result for patients who use VIT lenses.
  • $1,000 to $2,000: Estimated cost of Vision Improvement Therapy in the U.S. for both eyes. More complex cases can, of course, cost more. Other cost factors to consider include follow-up check-ups and lens care solutions.
  • 2004: The year when the first report on Vision Improvement Therapy for myopia control was published. The pilot study—called Children’s Overnight Orthokeratology Investigation (COOKI)—determined that “overnight VIT was both a safe and effective treatment for curtailing myopia progression.” In 2005, the Longitudinal Orthokeratology Research in Children (LORIC) “indicated that VIT was effective at controlling childhood myopia.”

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Myopia continues to be a threat to the vision of our children today, especially with changing lifestyles that revolve more on digital games and screen times, and less on outdoor play and real life interactions. Myopia prevention is still the best route in protecting our children’s eyes but should it happen, we can at least count on a safe, scientifically sound and effective medical technology to help us fight myopia and its life-changing effects.



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